Hi Elizabeth,

Your question is actually a hot topic right now on the PREMIS Editorial Committee :-)
We are indeed working on making environment descriptions more efficient in PREMIS. This will be included in PREMIS 3.

Angela made a presentation of those PREMIS 3 features during the latest PREMIS implementation Fair at iPRES, here is the link: http://www.loc.gov/standards/premis/pif-presentations-2013/02PREMIS-Dappert-Data_Model_Changes.pdf.

Two important things about this before anything:
        - rest assured these new features will be completely optional. Implementers will be absolutely free to discard those evolutions it if they do not need to record environment descriptions;
        - this is still a work in progress and some decisions might change.

In a nutshell, in PREMIS3:
        - Environments will be described separately (instead of being embedded in an Object description as it is done in PREMIS 2) so that they can be shared across different objects.
        - Those environment descriptions (PREMIS objects in their own sake) would be related to the objects they support with dependency relationships.
        - The parts of an environment (e.g. software application, plugin, operating system, hardware, etc.) could be described separately and related to the other environment components through dependency relationships.
        - Those environment descriptions could also be linked, among other things, to agents. This way, an agent involved in an event (e.g. creation) can link to the precise description of the environment involved in the action.

As to the current version of PREMIS, there is indeed no perfect way to proceed:
        1/ creatingApplication has very few semantic units
        2/ an environment with a purpose of "create", though not explicitly considered in the Data Dictionary, is an option, but you have no semantic unit for the creation date (since it has not been designed for creation environments in the first place)
        3/ a creation event related to an agent being the creation environment, has too few semantic units to capture your needs (only name, type and note) so you have the same problem as in 1/
        4/ a creation event in 3/ related to several agents, each one being a particular part of the creation environment (hardware, software, etc.), which would mean in some cases having finer-grained agentTypesthan software or hardware (e.g. software application / software plugin etc.)

I am unsure which one of the 4 above is best, each one has its shortcomings.

Hope this answers your questions! Feel free to ask away if this is not clear or if you have any other questions.

Kind regards,
Sébastien








Message de : "Roke, Elizabeth Russey" <[log in to unmask]>
                    17/10/2013 17:13

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[PIG] Recording creation environment




Hi all--

I'm looking for examples or advice on how others have recorded complex creation environments within PREMIS.  We're currently building functionality in our Fedora repository to store disk images for our digital archives work and need to record the original software/hardware configuration within the metadata somewhere.  I realize that <premis:environment> is designed to store how objects are rendered, not how they were originally created.  But we need more detail than premis:<creatingapplication> allows since we're recording operating system and original hardware.   I'm hesitant to store this type of information in an event-agent relationship because of the complexity.  I've also heard that there will be a revision of PREMIS at some point and I want to be sure whatever we decide to do can be easily mapped to the new schema.

I'm also open to non-Premis solutions if anyone has any suggestions for recording this type of information in some kind of standard way.  

Thanks,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth Russey Roke
Digital Archivist
Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL)
Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322
404-727-2345




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